February 25, 2016 - 6:30 PM
KAMLOOPS - Stuart Wood Elementary School could still graduate to become part of a university campus.
Matt Milovick, Thompson Rivers University vice president of administration, says the university is still working on internal investigations as to whether the downtown elementary school could be repurposed for the university, after agreeing with the city to explore the option.
A current report on the structure was shared with the university recently, Milovick says.
“The city identified some of the constraints. They shared the details of the report last year,” he says. “To use it for university purposes… it does require a full-scale renovation.”
That doesn’t mean the university isn’t interested, and Milovick says there are a number of ideas being floated on the school’s future as a part of the university.
“Our commitment to the city if we took space is we would animate it. We would use it consistently,” he says.
However, no full programs would move down the hill, he says, the university is only considering short term courses.
Byron McCorkell, the city’s parks director, says currently the city is focused on the university when it comes to Stuart Wood’s future. He says the university was the first organization considered to replace the school board.
“We know it technically needs to be used for education purposes, we immediately went to TRU because of past conversations,” he says.
While the city would consider any options when it comes to leasing the land to the university, McCorkell says the ball is in the university’s court.
“Ultimately it comes down to whether they see a financial viable thing that can work there,” McCorkell says. “If they don’t choose to use it then we would go through a process of what might fit, what would fit with our understanding of the agreement with the province and we’ll go through another round of ‘What if?’”
Stuart Wood Elementary School is scheduled to be vacated by the school board at the end of this school year, and it will be turned back over to the city. While the city is in control of the future site, provincial policy states it must be used for education purposes. This has left the city with limited options, and as of now a supplemental budget line of $37,600 is dedicated to keeping the site maintained while unused and under the city’s care.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016